What I do with a new deck.
I haven’t got one set routine that I do with my new decks of cards, but there are a few things I do.
First, I touch the cards. I don’t shuffle them yet, but I flip through the quickly and play with them for a few minutes to get a feel for the deck. Then I check the Page of Cups, and then the Major Arcana–specifically the Wheel of Fortune, Death, The Devil, The Moon, The Star, and The Sun.
If I’m reading or using my laptop I will sit with the cards next to me. Just leave them there, against my thigh or on my lap. I do this with my older decks too. They like to feel loved.
And, of course, I sleep with the new deck under my pillow for a few weeks. I also do this occasionally with my older decks if I feel like being close to them. But new decks spend at least three weeks under the pillow, sometimes more. They get a goodnight kiss (my decks are my babies) along with the rest of the decks and they get a little pat in the morning.
At some point in time I flip through all of the cards and look at the images. I take note of the cards I mentioned before, plus any others with particularly striking images. It takes a while before I’m familiar with all of the images in the deck. With my Golden Tarot, I know all the images since I’ve worked with her for three years. Thoth & Wild Unknown still surprise me most of the time because I have only had them for a few months, and it’s the same with the Portable Fortitude playing cards. And you know, I kind of like it that way. It’s fun to get a card that I haven’t seen before.
I do a lot of little spreads when I get a new deck. I don’t have a particular ‘get to know this deck’ spread, I just use it for daily readings and little one or two card readings.
I think those are most (if not all) of my new deck habits.